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disease—against the employment of Indians in the [Speech of Chatham on being taunted on account of youth.]
war with America, is too characteristic, too noble, to
be omitted. Sir—The atrocious crime of being a young man, which the honourable gentleman has, with such spirit (Speech of Chatham against the employment of Indians and decency, charged upon me, I shall neither attempt
in the war with America.] to palliate nor deny, but content myself with wishing that I may be one of those whose follies may cease I cannot, my lords, I will not, join in congratuwith their youth, and not of that number who are lation on misfortune and disgrace. This, my lords, ignorant in spite of experience. Whether youth can | is a perilous and tremendous moment; it is not a be imputed to any man as a reproach, I will not, time for adulation ; the smoothness of flattery cannot sir, assume the province of determining; but surely save us in this rugged and awful crisis. It is now age may become justly contemptible, if the oppor- necessary to instruct the throne in the language of tunities which it brings have passed away without truth. We must, if possible, dispel the delusion and improvement, and vice appears to prevail when the darkness which envelope it, and display, in its full passions have subsided. The wretch who, after having danger and genuine colours, the ruin which is brought seen the consequences of a thousand errors, continues to our doors. Can ministers still presume to expect still to blunder, and whose age has only added obsti- support in their infatuation? Can parliament be so nacy to stupidity, is surely the object either of ab- dead to their dignity and duty, as to give their suphorrence or contempt, and deserves not that his gray port to measures thus obtruded and forced upon them; hairs should secure bim from insult. Much more, measures, my lords, which have reduced this late sir, is he to be abhorred who, as he has advanced in flourishing empire to scorn and contempt? But yesage, has receded from virtue, and become more wicked terday, and England might have stood against the with less temptation ; whó prostitutes himself for world; now, none so poor to do her reverence! The money which he cannot enjoy, and spends the re- people whom we at first despised as rebels, but whom mains of his life in the ruin of his country. But we now acknowledge as enemies, are abetted against youth, sir, is not my only crime; I have been accused you, supplied with every military store, have their of acting a theatrical part. A theatrical part may interest consulted, and their ambassadors entertained, either imply some peculiarities of gesture, or a dissi- by your inveterate enemy; and ministers do not, and mulation of my real sentiments, and an adoption of dare not, interpose with dignity or effect. The desthe opinions and language of another man.
perate state of our army abroad is in part known. In the first sense, sir, the charge is too trifling to No man more highly estoems and honours the English be confuted, and deserves only to be mentioned that troops than I do ; I know their virtues and their it may be despised. I am at liberty, like every other valour; I know they can achieve anything but imman, to use my own language; and though, perhaps, possibilities; and I know that the conquest of English I may have some ambition to please this gentleman, America is an impossibility. You cannot, my lords, I shall not lay myself under any restraint, por very you cannot conquer America. What is your present solicitously copy his diction or his mien, however situation there? We do not know the worst ; but we matured by age, or modelled by experience. But if know that in three campaigns we have done nothing
any man shall, by charging me with theatrical beha- and suffered much. You may swell every expense, I piour, imply that I utter any sentiments but my own, accumulate every assistance, and extend your traffic
I shall treat him as a calumniator and a villain ; nor to the shambles of every German despot; your attempts shall any protection shelter him from the treatment will be for ever vain and impotent-doubly so, indeed, he deserves. I shall, on such an occasion, without from this mercenary aid on which you rely ; for it scruple, trample upon all those forms with which irritates, to an incurable resentment, the minds of wealth and dignity entrench themselves; nor shall your adversaries, to overrun them with the mercenary anything but age restrain my resentment; age, which sons of rapine and plunder, devoting them and their always brings one privilege, that of being insolent and possessions to the rapacity of hireling cruelty. If I supercilious, without punishment. But with regard, were an American, as I am an Englishman, while a sir, to those whom I have offended, I am of opinion foreign troop was landed in my country, I never would that if I had acted a borrowed part, I should have lay down my arms: Never, never, never ! But, my avoided their censure; the heat that offended them lords, who is the man that, in addition to the disis the ardour of conviction, and that zeal for the ser- graces and mischiefs of the war, has dared to authovice of my country which neither hope nor fear shall rise and associate to our arms the tomahawk and infuence me to suppress. I will not sit unconcerned scalping-knife of the savage ; to call into civilised while my liberty is invaded, nor look in silence upon alliance the wild and inhuman inhabitant of the public robbery.' I will exert my endeavours, at what- woods; to delegate to the merciless Indian the defence ever hazard, to repel the aggressor, and drag the thief of disputed rights, and to wage the horrors of his barto justice, whoever may protect him in his villany, barous war against our brethren? My lords, these and whoever may partake of his plunder.
enormities cry aloud for redress and punishment.
But, my lords, this barbarous measure has been deWe need not follow the public career of Pitt, fended, not only on the principles of policy and neceswhich is, in fact, a part of the history of England sity, but also on those of morality; ' for it is perfectly during a long and agitated period. His style of ora- allowable,' says Lord Suffolk, 'to use all the means tory was of the highest class, rapid, vehement, and which God and nature have put into our hands. I overpowering, and it was adorned by all the graces of am astonished, I am shocked, to hear such principles action and delivery. His public conduct was singu- confessed; to hear them avowed in this house or in larly pure and disinterested, considering the venality this country. My lords, I did not intend to encroach of the times in which he lived ; but as a statesman so much on your attention; but I cannot repress my he was often inconsistent, haughty, and impracti- indignation--I feel myself impelled to speak. My cable. His acceptance of a peerage (in 1766) hurt lords, we are called upon as members of this house, his popularity with the nation, who loved and reve- as men, as Christians, to protest against such horrible renced him as “the great commoner;' but he still barbarity! That God and nature have put into our shook the senate' with the resistless appeals of his hands! What ideas of God and nature that noble eloquence. His speech-delivered when he was up- lord may entertain I know not ; but I know that such wards of sixty, and broken down and enfeebled by detestable principles are equally abhorrent to religion and humanity. What! to attribute the sacred sanc- down to the house on this day, perhaps the last tion of God and nature to the massacres of the Indian tiine he should erer be able to enter its walls, to scalping-knife! to the cannibal savage, torturing, mur- express the indignation ho felt at the idea which be dering, devouring, drinking the blood of his mangled understood was gone forth of yielding up the sovevictims! Such notions shock every precept of morality, reignty of America. My lords," continued he, “I every feeling of humanity, every sentiment of honour. rejoice that the grave has not closed upon me, that I These abominable principles, and this more abominable am still alive to lift up my voice against the disarowal of them, demand the most decisive indignation. memberment of this ancient and noble monarchy. I call upon that right reverend, and this most learned | Pressed down as I am by the load of infirmity, I am bench, to vindicate the religion of their God, to support little able to assist my country in this most perilous the justice of their country. I call upon the bishops to conjuncture; but, my lords, while I have sense and interpose the unsullied sanctity of their lawn; upon memory, I never will consent to tarnish the lustre of the judges to interpose the purity of their erinine, to this nation by an ignominious surrender of its rights save us from this pollution. I call upon the honour and fairest possessions. Shall a people, so lately the of your lordships to reverence the dignity of your an- terror of the world, now fall prostrate before the house cestors, and to maintain your own. I call upon the of Bourbon? It is impossible! In God's name, if it spirit and humanity of my country to vindicate the is absolutely necessary to declare either for peace or national character. I invoke the Genius of the Con- war, and if peace cannot be preserved with honour, stitution. From the tapestry that adorn these walls, why is not war commenced without hesitation! I am the immortal ancestor of this noble lord frowns with not, I confess, well informed of the resources of this indignation at the disgrace of his country. In vain kingdom, but I trust it has still sufficient to maintain did he defend the liberty and establish the religion its just rights, though I know them not. Any state, of Britain against the tyranny of Rome, if these worse my lords, is better than despair. Let us at least than Popish cruelties and inquisitorial practices are make one effort, and if we must fall, let us fall like endured among us.
To send forth the merciless men." cannibal, thirsting for blood! against whom? your The Duke of Richmond, in reply, declared himself Protestant brethren! to lay waste their country, to to be “totally ignorant of the means by which we desolate their dwellings, and extirpate their race and were to resist with success the combination of Amename by the aid and instrumentality of these horrible rica with the house of Bourbon. He urged the noble hell-hounds of war! Spain can no longer boast pre- lord to point out any possible mode, if he were able eminence in barbarity. She armed herself with to do it, of making the Americans renounce that inblood-hounds to extirpate the wretched natives of dependence of which they were in possession. His Mexico; we, more ruthless, loose these dogs of war Grace added, that if he could not, no man could; and against our countrymen in America, endeared to us that it was not in his power to change his opinion on by every tie that can sanctify humanity. I solemnly the noble lord's authority, unsupported by any reasons call upon your lordships, and upon every order of but a recital of the calamities arising from a state of men in the state, to stamp upon this infamous pro- things not in the power of this country now to alter." cedure the indelible stigma of the public abhorrence. Lord Chatham, who had appeared greatly moved More particularly I call upon the holy prelates of during the reply, made an eager effort to rise at the our religion to do away this iniquity; let them per- conclusion of it, as if labouring with some great ides, form a lustration, to purify the country from this and impatient to give-full scope to his feelings ; but deep and deadly sin. My lords, I am old and weak, before he could utter a word, pressing his hand on his and at present unable to say more ; but my feelings bosom, he fell down suddenly in a convulsive fit. and indignation were too strong to have said less. 1 | The Duke of Cumberland, Lord Temple, and other could not have slept this night in my bed, nor even lords near him, caught him in their arms. The house reposed my head upon my pillow, without giving vent was immediately cleared ; and his lordship being to my eternal abhorrence of such enormous and pre- carried into an adjoining apartment, the debate was posterous principles.
adjourned. Medical assistance being obtained, his
lordship in some degree recovered, and was conveyed The last public appearance and death of Lord to his favourite villa of Hayes, in Kent, where, after Chatham are thus described by Belsham, in his lingering some few weeks, he expired May 11, 1778, history of Great Britain :
in the 70th year of his age.' The mind feels interested in the minutest circum- Grattan, the Irish orator, has drawn the character stances relating to the last day of the public life of of Lord Chatham with such felicity and vigour of this renowned statesman and patriot. He was dressed style, that it will ever be preserved, if only for its in a rich suit of black velvet, with a full wig, and composition. The glittering point and antithesis of covered up to the knees in flannel. On his arrival in his thoughts and language, have seldom been united the house, he refreshed himself in the lord chancellor's to such originality and force :room, where he stayed till prayers were over, and till he was informed that business was going to begin. The secretary stood alone. Modern degeneracy He was then led into the house by his son and son-in- had not reached him. Original and unaccommodating, law, Mr William Pitt and Lord Viscount Mahon, all the features of his character had the hardihood of the lords standing up out of respect, and making a antiquity. His august mind overawed majesty; and lane for him to pass to the earl's bench, he bowing one of his sovereigns thought royalty so impaired in very gracefully to them as he proceeded. He looked his presence, that he conspired to remove him, in pale and much emaciated, but his eye retained all its order to be relieved from his superiority. No state native fire; which, joined to his general deportment, chicanery, no narrow system of vicious politics, sunk and the attention of the house, formed a spectacle him to the vulgar level of the great ; but, overbearing, very striking and impressive.
persuasive, and impracticable, his object was England, When the Duke of Richmond had sat down, Lord his ambition was fame. Without dividing, he deChatham rose, and began by lamenting "that his stroyed party; without corrupting, he made a renal bodily infirmities had so long and at so important a age unanimous. France sunk beneath him. With crisis prevented his attendance on the duties of par- one hand he smote the house of Bourbon, and wielded liament. He declared that he had made an effort in the other the democracy of England. The sight of Almost beyond the powers of his constitution to come his mind was infinite; and his schemes were to affectin not England, not the present age only, but Europe DODSLEY, first published in 1748, and which long and posterity. Wonderful were the means by which continued to be a favourite and useful book. It these schemes were accomplished ; always seasonable, embraced within the compass of two volumes, in always adequate, the suggestions of an understanding octavo, treatises on elocution, coniposition, arithanimated by ardour and enlightened by prophecy. metic, geography, logic, moral philosophy, human
The ordinary feelings which make life amiable and life and manners, and a few other branches of knowindolent were unknown to him. No domestic diffi- ledge, then supposed to form a complete course of culties, no domestic weakness, reached him; but aloof education. from the sordid occurrences of life, and unsullied by The age under notice may be termed the epoch its intercourse, he came occasionally into our system of magazines and reviews. The earliest work of to counsel and to decide.
the former kind, the Gentleman's Magazine, comA character so exalted, so strenuous, so various, so menced in the year 1731 by Mr Edward Cave, a authoritative, astonished a corrupt age, and the trea- printer, was at first simply a monthly condensation sury trembled at the name of Pitt through all the of newspaper discussions and intelligence, but in the classes of venality. Corruption imagined, indeed, course of a few years became open to the reception that she had found defects in this statesman, and of literary and archæological articles. The term talked much of the inconsistency of his glory, and magazine thus gradually departed from its original much of the ruin of his victories; but the history of meaning as a depository of extracts from newspapers, his country, and the calamities of the enemy, an- till it was understood to refer to monthly miscelswered and refuted her. Nor were his political abi- lanies of literature, such as it is now habitually lities his only talents: his eloquence was an era in applied to. The design of Mr Cave was so successthe senate, peculiar and spontaneous, familiarly ex-ful, that it soon met with rivalry, though it was pressing gigantic sentiments and instinctive wisdom; some time before any other work obtained sufficient not like the torrent of Demosthenes, or the splendid encouragement to be continued for any lengthened conflagration of Tully; it resembled sometimes the period. The Literary Magazine, started in 1735 thunder, and sometimes the music of the spheres. by Mr Ephraim Chambers, subsisted till about the Like Murray, he did not conduct the understanding close of the century. The London Magazine, the through the painful subtlety of argumentation ; nor British Magazine, and the Town and Country Mawas he, like Townsend, for ever on the rack of exer, gazine, were other works of the same kind, pubtion; but rather lightened upon the subject, and lished with more or less success during the reigns reached the point by the flashings of the mind, which, of George II. and George III. In 1739, the Scots like those of his eye, were felt, but could not be fol- Magazine was commenced in Edinburgh, upon a lowed. Upon the whole, there was in this man something that could create, subvert, or reform; an un
plan nearly similar to the ‘Gentleman's ;' it sur.
vived till 1826, and forms a valuable register of the derstanding, a spirit, and an eloquence to summon
events of the times over which it extends. In the mankind to society, or to break the bonds of slavery old magazines, there is little trace of that anxiety asunder, and to rule the wilderness of free minds for literary excellence which now animates the conwith unbounded authority; something that could establish or overwhelm empire, and strike a blow in ductors of such miscellanies ; yet, from the notices the world that should resound through the universe.'
which they contain respecting the characters, incidents, and manners of former years, they are gene. rally very entertaining. The Gentleman's Magazine' continues to be published, and retains much of
its early distinction as a literary and archæological The Cyclopædia of EPHRAIM CHAMBERS, published repository. in 1728, in two folio volumes, was the first dictionary Periodical works, devoted exclusively to the criti. or repertory of general knowledge produced in Bri- cism of new books, were scarcely known in Britain tain. Chambers, who had been reared to the busi- till 1749, when the Monthly Review was ness of a globe-maker, and was a man of respectable menced under the patronage of the Whig and low though not profound attainments, died in 1740. His church party. This was followed, in 1756, by the work was printed five times during the subsequent establishment of the Critical Review, which for some
eighteen years, and has finally been extended, in the years was conducted by Dr Smollett, and was dei present century, under the care of Dr ABRAHAM voted to the interests of the Tory party in church
Rees, to forty volumes in quarto. Dr JOHN CAMP- and state. These productions, marked by no great BELL, whose share in compiling the Universal His- ability, were the only publications of the kind pretory has already been spoken of, began in 1742 to vious to the commencement of the British Critic in publish his Lires of the British Admirals, and three 1793. years later commenced the Biographia Britannica ; Another respectable and useful periodical work works of considerable magnitude, and which still was originated in 1758 by Robert Dodsley, under possess a respectable reputation. The reign of the title of the Annual Register, the plan being sugGeorge II. produced many other attempts to fami- gested, as has been said, by Burke, who for some liarise knowledge; but it seems only necessary to years wrote the historical portion with his usual allude to one of these, the Preceptor of ROBERT | ability. This work is still published.
ENCYCLOPÆDIAS AND MAGAZINES.
FROM 1780 TILL THE PRESENT TIME.
strong colourings of nature and passion, and in the POETB.
free and flexible movements of the native genius of HE great va- our poetry. Since then, every department of literiety and abun- rature has been cultivated with success. In fiction, dance of the li- the name of Scott is inferior only to that of Shak. terature of this speare; in criticism, a new era may be dated from period might, in the establishment of the Edinburgh Review; and in some measure, historical composition, if we have no Hume or Gibhave been pre- bon, we have the results of far more valuable and dicted from the diligent research. Truth and nature have been
progress made more truly and devoutly worshipped, and real excelduring the pre- lence more highly prized. It has been feared by
vious thirty or some that the principle of utility, which is recog
forty years, in nised as one of the features of the present age, and which, as Johnson said, almost the progress of mechanical knowledge, would be fatal every man had come to write to the higher efforts of imagination, and diminish and to express himself correctly, the territories of the poet. This seems a groundless
and the number of readers had fear. It did not damp the ardour of Scott or Byron, been multiplied a thousand- and it has not prevented the poetry of Wordsworth fold. The increase in national from gradually working its way into public favour. wealth and population natu- If we have not the chivalry and romance of the rally led, in a country like Great Elizabethan age, we have the ever-living passions of
Britain, to the improvement of human nature, and the wide theatre of the world, literature and the arts, and accordingly we find that now accurately known and discriminated, as a field a more popular and general style of composition be- for the exercise of genius. We have the benefit of gan to supplant the conventional stiffness and classic all past knowledge and literature to exalt our stanrestraint imposed upon former authors. The human dard of imitation and taste, and a more sure reward intellect and imagination were sent abroad on wider in the encouragement and applause of a populous surveys, and with more ambitious views. To excite and enlightened nation. The literature of England, a great mass of hearers, the public orator finds it says Shelley, ' has arisen, as it were, from a new birth necessary to appeal to the stronger passions and In spite of the low-thoughted envy which would universal sympathies of his audience; and in writ- undervalue contemporary merit, our own will be a ing for a large number of readers, an author must memorable age in intellectual achievements, and we adopt similar means, or fail of success. Hence it live among such philosophers and poets as surpass
, seems natural that as society advanced, the character beyond comparison, any who have appeared since of our literature should become assimilated to it, the last national struggle for civil and religious and partake of the onward movement, the popular liberty. The most unfailing herald, companion, and feeling, and rising energy of the nation. There were, follower of the awakening of a great people to work however, some great public events and accidental a beneficial change in opinion or institution, is poetry. circumstances which assisted in bringing about a | At such periods there is an accumulation of the change. The American war, by exciting the elo- power of communicating and receiving intense and quence of Chatham and Burke, awakened the spirit impassioned conceptions respecting man and nature. of the nation. The enthusiasm was continued by The persons in whom this power resides, may often, the poet Cowper, who sympathised keenly with his as far as regards many portions of their nature, have fellow-men, and had a warm love of his native coun- little apparent correspondence with that spirit of try. Cowper wrote from no system; he had not good of which they are the ministers. But even read a poet for seventeen years ; but he drew the whilst they deny and abjure, they are yet compelled distinguishing features of English life and scenery to serve the power which is seated on the throne of with such graphic power and beauty, that the mere their own soul. It is impossible to read the compoetry of art and fashion, and the stock images of positions of the most celebrated writers of the predescriptive verse, could not but appear mean, affected, sent day, without being startled with the electric and commonplace. Warton’s ‘History of Poetry,' and life which burns within their words. They measure Percy’s ‘Reliques,' threw back the imagination to the the circumference and sound the depths of buman bolder and freer era of our national literature, and nature with a comprehensive and all-penetrating the German drama, with all its horrors and extra- spirit, and they are themselves perhaps the most vagance, was something better than mere delinea- sincerely astonished at its manifestations, for it is tions of manners or incidental satire. The French less their spirit than the spirit of the age. Poets are Revolution came next, and seemed to break down all the hierophants of an unapprehended inspiration; artificial distinctions. Talent and virtue only were the mirrors of the gigantic shadows which futurity to be regarded, and the spirit of man was to enter casts upon the present; the words which express | on a new course of free and glorious action. This what they understand not; the trumpets which sing dream passed away; but it had sunk deep into some to battle, and feel not what they inspire ; the in! ardent minds, and its fruits were seen in bold specu- fluence which is moved not, but moves. Poets are lations on the hopes and destiny of man, in the the unacknowledged legislators of the world.'
appearing at the bar of the House of Lords, plunged
him in the deepest misery and distress. The seeds WILLIAM COWPER, the most popular poet of his of insanity were then in his frame; and after broodgeneration, and the best of English letter-writers,' ing over his fancied ills till reason had fled, he at28 Mr Southey has designated him, belonged empha- tempted to commit suicide. Happily this desperate
effort failed; the appointment was given up, and Cowper was removed to a private madhouse at St Albans, kept by Dr Cotton. The cloud of horror gradually passed away, and on his recovery, he resolved to withdraw entirely from the society and business of the world. He had still a small portion of his funds left, and his friends subscribed a further sum, to enable him to live frugally in retirement. The bright hopes of Cowper's youth seemed thus to have all vanished: his prospects of advancement in the world were gone; and in the new-born zeal of his religious fervour, his friends might well doubt whether his reason had been completely restored. He retired to the town of Huntingdon, near Cambridge, where his brother resided, and there formed an intimacy with the family of the Rev. Morley Unwin, a clergyman resident in the place. He was adopted as one of the family; and when Mr Unwin himself was suddenly removed, the same connexion was continued with his widow. Death only could sever a tie so strongly knit-cemented by mutual faith and friendship, and by sorrows of which the world knew nothing. To the latest generation the
name of Mary Unwin will be united with that of William Cowper.
Cowper, partaker of his fame as of his sad declinetically to the aristocracy of England. His father, the Rev. Dr Cowper, chaplain to George II., was the
By seraphs writ with beams of heavenly light. son of Spencer Cowper, one of the judges of the After the death of Mr Unwin in 1767, the family court of common pleas, and a younger brother of were advised by the Rev. John Newton—a remarkthe first Earl Cowper, lord chancellor. His mother able man in many respects—to fix their abode at was allied to some of the noblest families in England, Olney, in the northern division of Buckinghamshire, descended by four different lines from King Henry III. where Mr Newton himself officiated as curate. This This lofty lineage cannot add to the lustre of the poet's fame, but it sheds additional grace on his piety and humility. Dr Cowper, besides his royal chaplaincy, held the rectory of Great Berkhamstead, in the county of Hertford, and there the poet was born, November 15, 1731. In his sixth year he lost his mother (whom he tenderly and affectionately remembered through all his life), and was placed at a boarding-school, where he continued two years. The tyranny of one of his school-fellows, who held in complete subjection and abject fear the timid and home-sick boy, led to his removal from this seminary, and undoubtedly prejudiced him against the whole system of public education. He was next placed at Westminster school, where, as he says, he served a seven years' apprenticeship to the classics ; and at the age of eighteen was removed, in order to be articled to an attorney. Having passed through this training (with the future Lord Chancellor Thurlow for his fellow-clerk), Cowper, in 1754, was called to the bar. He never, however, made the law a study: in the solicitor's office he and Thurlow were
constantly employed from morning to night in giggling and making giggle,' and in his chambers in the Temple he wrote gay verses, and associated with Bonnel Thornton, Colman, Lloyd, and other wits. He contributed a few papers to the Connoisseur and to the St James's Chronicle, both conducted by his friends. Darker days were at hand. Cowper's
Olney Church. father was now dead, his patrimony was small, and he was in his thirty-second year, almost unprovided was accordingly done, and Cowper removed with with an aim,' for the law was with him a mere nomi- them to a spot which he has consecrated by his nal profession. In this crisis of his fortunes his genius. He had still the river Ouse with him, as kinsman, Major Cowper, presented him to the office at Huntingdon, but the scenery is more varied and of clerk of the journals to the House of Lords—a attractive, and abounds in fine retired walks. His desirable and lucrative appointment. Cowper ac- life was that of a religious recluse; he ceased corcepted it; but the labour of studying the forms of responding with his friends, and associated only procedure, and the dread of qualifying himself by with Mrs Unwin and Newton. The latter engaged